The Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Ms Josephine Nkrumah, has reiterated the need for constitutional reforms to enable the country to strengthen its democracy.
That, she explained, would continue to put Ghana as the icon of democracy on the continent.
In line with that, she said the NCCE would collaborate with all stakeholders to deepen the conversation on constitutional reforms on clearly defined issues such as what needed to be amended, how to amend it and when to amend it.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily Graphic, Ms Nkrumah said it was important that Ghanaians saw the value in constitutional reforms after 30 years of constitutional democracy and then decide on how “we go about it, when it should be done and the most cost-effective way to do it.”
She was speaking on the agenda of the NCCE for 2022 which, she said, would be on the theme: “Sustaining our democracy: Ghanaian values in practice.”
Ms Nkrumah said democracy did not exist in chaos hence the need for the Constitution to be reviewed to make it responsive to the needs of the people and how challenges could be addressed.
She said some work had been done already with huge resources including man hours and money spent.
In 2010, President John Evans Atta Mills set up a Constitution Review Commission under the chairmanship of Professor Allbert Kodzo Fiadjoe to, among others, ascertain from the people of Ghana, their views on the operation of the 1992 Fourth Republican Constitution and, in particular, the strengths and weaknesses of the Constitution; to articulate the concerns of the people of Ghana on amendments that may be required for a comprehensive review of the 1992 Constitution; and to make recommendations to the government for consideration and provide a draft Bill for possible amendments to the 1992 Constitution.
Although the commission submitted its report, its recommendations are yet to be implemented.
Ms Nkrumah said the process for constitutional reforms should be owned by Ghanaians and gave an assurance that the NCCE would educate Ghanaians to own it and defend the Constitution at all times so as to sustain democracy in the country.
She said the choice of this year’s theme was anchored on restoring and reviving Ghanaian values to engender the requisite development of the country with the overarching effect of sustaining democracy.
Those values, she said, were patriotism, respect, discipline, hard work, punctuality, truth and integrity.
Ms Nkrumah acknowledged that the country’s leaders had not demonstrated enough commitment to the values but rather expected citizens to demonstrate them.
“This year’s theme makes a clarion call on all citizens to put into practice these nation-building values. The values should be put into practice in our national life, governance system, political life and socio-economic life,” she stated.
When asked about the challenge of civic apathy, Ms Nkrumah said it was a global problem, hence the NCCE’s commitment to continue to engage all stakeholders through its programmes.
She also appealed to media organisations to devote more airtime and space to educate the populace on the Constitution and their civic responsibilities.
She said the NCCE would use its normal channels of engaging youth groups, faith-based organisations, marginalised groups, dawn broadcast to educate the citizenry.